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near Goranxi, Gjirokastër (Albania)
Thanks to the old communist mountain road that followed the ridge of Mali e Gjere, and of which now only overgrown parts remain, there are several options to cross the range from Gjirokaster towards Delvine.
We chose one of the easiest trails starting from the village of Goranxi 8km south of Gjirokaster. You can take the signposted turn off from the mainroad and continue straight through the village to a barrier that you can bypass, from here the old track follows up the canyon.
We decided to start our walk on the bottom but with a 4wd you could make you way quite far up (see the waypoint).
On your way make sure to stop at the old partly ruined St. Mary's monastery, it's chapel is still in use and features some very beautiful and well preserved wall paintings. Right behind it you also find a viewpoint. Should you be in need of water a bit later on look for the hose that leads you to the spring. Further up you might find more of them but make sure these are not polluted by animals.
Continuing your ascend the incline becomes steeper and at some point the road vanishes into a gravel field. Onwards there's no proper trail any more but walking in the riverbed is the easiest way up, use the bunkers up on the right as your landmark.
Just below those you will hit the mountain road, following it north you will see the antennas behind the bend.
It's up to you to continue to the top for some better views. Otherwise look for the shepherd's hut on the left when you come to the narrowst part of the ridge. Stay on the up most goat trail and you'll arrive at a group of trees in a gully that makes a good shady spot for a brake. The trails continues on almost the same level, try only to descend when you arrive at the ridge that leads to the artificial water reservoir in the south east. Around the hill are two shephard huts in a beautiful field of flower. Walking in the direction where you can see the small village to the north west you soon find the trail that leads all the way down to the road.
After a small saddle higher scrubs will block your way, walking to the left around them appeared easiest to us. When you arrive at the base of the hill you'll cross a small stream and meet the road. Continue south towards Delvine, the trail ends at the minibus station. Only one direct bus to Gjirokaster leaves at 9:30pm. You can alternatively go back via Saranda, furgons leaves frequently.
Enjoy your walk!
3 walk from Goranxi via antenna to Delvine